I was puttering around yesterday, making a little to-do list, checking in with my tweeps, thinking I’d take it easy and recharge my batteries a little for the week ahead. Unfortunately, I picked up this news story on twitter. It’s about a 15 year-old student at Olive Branch (just south of Memphis) being suspended because he flashed his football jersey number in a photo and administrators interpreted it as a gang sign. I’m not going to summarize all the details – it’s a long article and it’s worth a read.
Now, before I write one more word about this, let me just say: I don’t make a habit of bashing my home state for the fun of it, nor do I go in for using negativity just to attract internet traffic. I’m writing this because the situation deserves a closer look, and because the hour I’ve spent digging into school discipline in Mississippi raises some questions that I believe it is fair to ask.
Without direct personal knowledge of this situation, here is what I think: